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Basketball (M)

Hamilton's 21 points and stingy defense send Men's Basketball to SAC lead

JEFFERSON CITY, N.C. -- Catawba College took over first place in the South Atlantic Conference after a 67-63 come-from-behind win over host Carson-Newman in menís basketball action on Saturday night at Holt Fieldhouse. The Indians get their fifth straight win to improve to 14-4 overall and 4-1 in the SAC. Carson-Newman falls to 7-10 and 3-2. In a battle of two first-place teams, Catawba held the Eagles to just two points over the final seven minutes of the game to help the Tribe rally from an eight-point deficit early in the second half. A Jamel Hamilton (Virginia Beach, Va.) layup with 9:53 left gave the Tribe the lead for good at 56-55. The freshman would add another layin less than a minute later for a 58-55 edge. The teams would trade two-point field goals over the next five minutes until Hamilton drained a three-pointer with 4:07 remaining to put Catawba on top 65-61. Chris Wooldridge (Norfolk, Va.) gave the Tribe their biggest advantage on a bucket with 3:30 left. The Eagles got the final points of the game with 3:07 to play on a layup by Jonathan Martin (Corryton, Tenn.). The teams went cold from there. Catawba missed four shots and three free throws, but the Eagles failed on three shot attempts and committed a turnover. The Indians trailed by a dozen points in the first half at 22-10, but fought back to a 40-33 deficit at the break. Catawba shot 57% (13-of-23) in the final half and finished at 49%, while the Eagles hit on 44% for the game and just 37% in the final half. The Eagles held a slight 36-33 edge on the boards and each team had 17 turnovers, but the Tribe had just four miscues after the break. Hamilton paced Catawba with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, including four-of-six from long range. Brian Graves (Newport News, Va.) had 11 points and Jolly Manning (Rocky Mount, N.C.) added 10 points for the Indians. Martin had 21 points for the Eagles, while Braun Dabbs (Greeneville, Tenn.) added 11 points. #####

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